Final Dime: Cavaliers 107, Wizards 102
Daniel Gibson finished with 19 points in Saturday's win in D.C.
This June’s top pick, Washington’s John Wall, was making just his second start at the Verizon Center and fans were ready for a redux of his debut. But, as they had the night before in Philly, the Cavaliers’ one-two point guard punch of Mo Williams and Daniel Gibson stole the show in the second half – propelling the Wine and Gold to the 107-102 win over Washington.
“You have two guys that can spread the floor, both guys can beat you off the dribble and both guys are very unselfish,” praised Coach Byron Scott. “They look for their teammates and they’re both able to make big plays and big shots. It’s a luxury for me to be able to have those guys on the floor at the same time, especially in crunch time.”
Saturday’s game didn’t feature the dramatic lead changes from the previous evening. Instead, the two clubs – who once did battle in three straight postseasons – went toe-to-toe in the final period.
The Wizards took a five-point edge with just five minutes to play. But Anthony Parker’s big three-pointer, followed by Anderson Varejao’s layup one minute later gave the Cavaliers back the lead. Mo drained a pair of free throws to give Cleveland a two-point edge, 97-95, with just over two minutes to play. And Gibson canned a three from the right corner to give the Cavaliers all the breathing room they’d need.
One night after notching 22 points in Philly, Mo added 28 more in the nation’s capital – going 10-for-19 from the floor and 7-of-10 from the stripe. The eighth-year man from ‘Bama added four boards, three assists and a pair of steals.
Gibson, the catalyst of Cleveland’s win the night before, added 19 points, going 7-of-11 from the floor – including both attempts from three-point range – adding four boards, two helpers and a pair of steals of his own.
“That’s the brand of basketball that I love to play,” beamed Boobie. “The way our offense is set up, our coach has confidence and I never think about a shot and never think about making turnovers because he has faith in you, and when coach has that in you, the sky’s the limit.”
Anthony Parker added 13 points and Anderson Varejao grabbed 11 boards in the win. J.J. Hickson tallied 10 points and Ryan Hollins rounded out the Cavaliers in double-figures, going a perfect 5-for-5 from the floor for 11 points.
As a team, Cleveland shot 48 percent from the floor, 44 percent from long-distance and 80 percent from the stripe – committing just 12 team turnovers. The Wizards featured six players in double-figures and held advantages in rebounding and assists. But it wasn’t enough to overcome the Wine and Gold’s 31-point fourth quarter.
After taking the weekend road back-to-back, the Cavaliers draw even at 3-3. They hit the road once again on Tuesday night for the first half of a road-and-home back-to-back against Byron Scott’s former club, the New Jersey Nets.
2. Daniel Gibson is averaging 16.2 ppg over his last four games. In his last two games, he’s shooting 65 percent from the floor – 67 percent from long-distance. In his two outings over the weekend, Mo Williams averaged 25.0 ppg, despite shooting just .091 (1-for-11) from three-point range.
3. Saturday’s win snapped a five-game Wizards home win streak against the Cavaliers.
4. Although they got a quick look at No. 1 overall pick John Wall in the preseason, Saturday’s contest was the first regular season meeting. On Saturday night, the precocious rookie from Kentucky finished with 13 points and 10 assists in 43 minutes of action.
5. Former Cavs play-by-play man and WKNR afternoon host, Michael Reghi, will be hosting the Wizards pregame and postgame shows when they play at the Verizon Center. Because of a football broadcast, Reghi wasn’t there on Saturday, replaced by former Channel 5 sports anchor, Chris Miller.
6. Antawn Jamison was inactive for the third straight game on Saturday night, spoiling his homecoming in D.C., where he spent five and a half years from 2004-10 before being traded to Cleveland last February.
7. Through six games the Cavaliers bench is averaging 41.0 points per contest, paced by Daniel Gibson’s 15.0 ppg.
8. Anderson Varejao followed up his perfect 10-for-10 night on Friday by hitting his first two shots on Saturday night in D. C. The Wild Thing grabbed 11 boards in Saturday’s win – the third straight contest that he’s tallied double-digit boards and the fourth time in the five games he’s played.
9. Anthony Parker, who came into Saturday’s game tied for third in the NBA from beyond the arc, went 3-for4 from three-point range against the Wizards.
10. The Wizards game presentation staff has a good – albeit old – bit. When opponents are introduced, their negative statistics are displayed, e.g. when Anderson Varejao is announced, the display reads “Only one steal.” When Anthony Parker was, the screen read “Team’s oldest player.” Seconds later, the Wizards video intro was shown in 3-D.
Joe Gabriele is the official beat writer for the Cleveland Cavaliers on Cavs.com. You can follow Joe and send him your questions on Twitter at @CavsJoeG.